Guatemala City, Guatemala – (April 5, 2011) - Mexico and Costa Rica booked their tickets to the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup with easy wins over Canada and Cuba, respectively.
Mexico displayed ample superiority over a hard-working but talent-stricken Canadian team. With outstanding creative passing and playmaking from LatinoTop10.com “Player of the Match” midfielder Alan Pulido and a superb effort from defender Diego De Buen, Mexico easily outplayed Canada and won the match, 3-0.
Kristian Alvarez opened the score in the first half with a long-distance bomb that caught the Canadian goalkeeper off guard. Second-half goals from De Buen and Jorge Mora sealed the victory for “El Tri” at Mateo Flores stadium in Guatemala City.
De Buen's goal was the best of the night. The defender struck the ball beautifully from about 20 yards, and his shot flew like a rocket into the upper corner of the goal, leaving the Canadian goalkeeper with absolutely no chance.
Mexico secured their 12th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, bouncing back after failing to win through to the 2009 edition of the tournament in Egypt.
In the first match of the doubleheader, Costa Rica got a scare from Cuba, who scored an early first goal, but ended up crushing the islanders 6-1, including a hat trick from their No. 10, striker Joel Campbell, the LatinoTop10.com “Man of the Match.” Mynor Miller, Bryan Vega and Joshua Diaz scored the other goals for the Ticos.
Costa Rica have appeared in seven previous FIFA U-20 World Cups, finishing in fourth place at Egypt 2009.
On Wednesday, the two remaining berths will be decided. In the first match, the red-hot “Catrachos” of Honduras will have a duel with the always dangerous “Canaleros” of Panama. Following that showdown, “Los Chapines” of Guatemala will do their best to generate inspired play in front of their home crowd to beat the heavily favored United States.
The 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be hosted by Colombia starting on July 29th.
- Mexico's senior men's national team head coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, assistant coach Fernando Tena and Mexican Federation official Justino Compean all attended the game.
- The stadium was virtually empty. My estimation is that about 800 to 1,000 fans showed up. That should change on Wednesday when the locals take on Team USA.
- It was hilarious to hear Cuban fans cheer on their team Cuban-style, i.e. with heavily Cuban accents and using colorful, funny and energetic language as only Cubans can. It would be great to see Cuba take its game to a much higher level if only to enjoy their fans, their exhuberance and the wonderful Cuban music.
Same wish goes for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. I would be in heaven if I ever get to watch high-level Puerto Rico soccer with a wonderful dose of Salsa and Reggaeton music on the sidelines! I would not mind seeing some world-class Dominican soccer accompanied with an skeleton-shaking Merengue music in the stands.
Vamos Cuba! Vamos Puerto Rico! Vamos Dominican Republic! Futbol and Son! Futbol and Salsa! Futbol and Merengue! It's coming!...I hope...